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TrueAbility raises $2M to build ‘flight simulator’ for tech recruiting

Above: TrueAbility's founding team.

Image Credit: TrueAbility, Facebook

TrueAbility has raised $2 million for its approach to recruiting top technical talent.

The company was founded by a team of former Rackspace employees to address inefficiencies in the hiring process. Rackspace provides managed cloud hosting services, and founders Marcus Robertson, Dusty Jones, Luke Owen, and Frederick “Suizo” Mendler wanted to build a system that focused on skill testing rather than resumes.

“Employers now have a way to determine a person‘s ability to do the job—before making a hire,” the company said on its site. “It‘s like a flight simulator for open positions.”

The flagship product, Ability Screen, lets employers conduct technical assessments of job candidates in a live server environment. Employers can test their abilities, focusing on specific technology/tasks that are required for the job, and rank candidates based on the results. This makes it easier to evaluate candidates who live far away and to screen more candidates in a shorter period of time. TrueAbility claims that by eliminating several steps in the recruiting cycle, it can decrease time to hire by up to 66%. Furthermore, the company said that this method helps recruiters be more objective because it focuses on measurable skills and helps organizations “find the rockstars.”

Education, experience, and personality are all important factors when considering someone for a job, but ultimately the most important thing for technical positions is ability. TrueAbility also serves job applicants by giving them a way to prove their skills and get noticed, even if their resume is not the strongest out there. The company has plans to create a place where technical professionals can take gamified tests and earn badges — both for self-improvement and to seem more competitive to employers.

Companies large and small battle it out to find and keep in-demand employees, like software engineers and data scientists. Hiring technical talent is highly competitive in the tech industry and the market is flooded with startups that seek to streamline this process in some way. There are companies that gamify recruiting, social recruiting tools, matchmaking services, auctions, and daily deals for job sites. TrueAbility’s niche is assessing candidates based on their performance, along the lines of Gild, Zerply, or Quixey — an app discovery engine that built its own technical assessment for candidates.

TrueAbility is based in San Antonio, Texas, and Austin Ventures led this first round of funding. The Cloud Power Seed Fund 2013 also participated. It will be used to expand its platform technology, add tests for new skill sets, customer acquisition, and of course, hiring.